Deputy Editor Kat Smith reviews Vox Media's Explained and praises its short, snappy episodes for educating viewers on complex topicsWritten by Kat Smith on 24th September 2018
Best Box-Sets to Binge This Summer
With summer now upon us, TV's Morgana Chess breaks down the best box-sets to binge watch to your heart's content
It’s been a stressful month of cramming for exams, coffee-fuelled library sessions, and essay procrastination. But now, the end is in sight and summer is on the horizon…what better way to unwind than getting lost in some proper good telly? Here’s a list of the best box-sets to binge post-exams:
You need escapism and you need it now. Better yet, you need to be transported to The Good Place. This Netflix show starts with the simple premise of good people going to paradise when they die, and bad people heading for somewhere a bit less peachy...but what happens when there’s a mix-up? The show is an easy, lighthearted watch with plenty of plot twists, witty humour and character development that will keep you coming back for more.
Exam season is over and you find yourself with (gasp) free time! If you want to sink your teeth into something meaty, it might be time to crack into one of those long series that you’ve been ‘meaning to watch’ for a while. The classic recommendations are popular with good reason: check out Game of Thrones for an epic fantasy with sly, political backstabbing; watch Orange is the New Black for a witty, refreshing script set in an all-female prison with a diverse set of characters; or step back into the 60s with Mad Men to explore the ruthless world of advertising in a swirl of cigarette smoke and sexism.
The country’s still in a patriotic fervour following the Royal Wedding and there’s no point trying to hide from it, just embrace it. The Crown has been topping the awards lists for a reason and, as Netflix’s most expensive series ever, it really is quality television. The casting and costumes are fantastic and the dramas of the British royal family provide a basis for timeless entertainment. (Already seen it? Throw it back to Downton Abbey for your aristocracy fix; the scandals of the first few series haven’t lost their shock value, and it’s worth watching for Dame Maggie Smith’s one-liners alone.)
Alternatively, get completely wrapped up in Netflix’s Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) as a criminal mastermind plots the biggest heist in history and hires eight people with special abilities to help him carry out his ambitious plan. Full of suspense, the show is thrilling and addictive, and most fun to watch with a friend so you can experience the shock moments together and gasp in sync or put out your hand for emotional support. Note: best watched in the original Spanish with English subtitles to really feel the drama.
Summer has arrived and it’s time for cocktails in town with your best mates. Experience the same stress-free indulgence with the Sex and the City box-set and get lost in the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda as they navigate careers, dating and relationships in the Big Apple. The show is as fresh and relatable now as it ever was, with iconic funny moments and stylish wardrobes to boot.
Going home for summer but not quite ready to part with your beloved Brum? Check out Peaky Blinders, a gangster drama set in post-World War I Birmingham that follows the criminal exploits of the Shelby family. The show just won Best Drama at the Baftas and its riotous entertainment is sure to have you hooked from the first episode. Also, it provides the perfect gritty, Brummy refresher if you’ve been watching a lot of American series lately.